In an environment of escalating manufacturing challenges, including intense global competitiveness, environmental regulation and energy supply issues, managers have both lean and green manufacturing (also known as “clean manufacturing”) technology necessary to identify and eliminate multifaceted manufacturing wastes in their operations that stealthily steal away business profits.
The merging of green practices into manufacturing promises to deliver additional value in the form of less chemical, energy, labor and water usage as well as pollutants.
CO2 clean manufacturing technology may be the answer to these costly business issues. CO2 clean manufacturing has been used by many companies in high technology, high reliability and high capacity manufacturing operations. This technology, named CO2 CleanTech, has been used primarily as a means for increasing the cleanliness of components, assemblies, tools and fixtures to increase both capacity and quality. This technology has also proven itself to be a means for reducing the cost of improving the productivity of manufacturing high volume and high reliability products.
Need for Cleaner ProductionManufacturing waste is generally thought of as any resource used in a production process that does not go out as part of the product and/or costs money to get rid of. An example of this would be wastewater treatment operations for spent rinse water.
However, manufacturing waste also exists in many other forms, including excessive factory space utilization for equipment (production and waste treatment equipment), inefficient material and process flows, and inefficient use of facility labor and lost productivity of both labor and equipment.
These types of wastes significantly impact a company’s bottom line too, but are often obscured in overhead accounts or generally overlooked in the manufacturing operation.
CO2 : A Unique Manufacturing SolutionCO2 is a safe and abundant compound that plays a very important role in many commercial and industrial applications. CO2 can be used in cleaning, cooling and machining applications. Leading companies have implemented CO2-based cleaning technology and have realized improved productivity and a lower cost-of-operation of their production operations.
CO2 CleanTech has also served as a strategy for complying with worker safety and environmental regulations. This abundant and natural by-product of numerous industrial and natural processes can be recycled as a valuable and renewable manufacturing resource.
CO2-based cleaning technology is a positive contribution to Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs), Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), and Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions reduction strategies.
Using recycled CO2 to reduce pollution, conserve energy and eliminate wastes (both environmental and manufacturing) produces numerous tangible measurable benefits. Major industrial sources of CO2 emissions include electrical power generation and usage; chemical generation and usage; and transportation energy and waste.
A reduction of manufacturing wastes or elimination of production chemical inputs of any kind decreases industrial CO2, or carbon footprint. Thus, from a GHG emissions perspective, using recycled CO2 significantly offsets new gas production and emission from both the industrial supply and consumption sides of the equation. Pending USEPA CO2 emissions reporting legislation is intended to impact the generators of this gas. CO2 used in commercial and industrial processes is already accounted for in the GHG emissions inventory.
CO2 is Many Manufacturing Agents in One
This gas is a very versatile manufacturing agent; actually four manufacturing
agents in one. It can be used as a spray, immersion solvent, extraction
solvent, and plasma in the form of composite sprays, hybrid solid-plasma
sprays, supercritical liquid carbon dioxide cleaning systems, and supercritical
fluid extraction systems. In addition, CO2 fluids purification and management
systems have been developed to support these various capabilities. Applications
for CO2 CleanTech include precision degreasing, departiculation, outgassing,
drying, disinfection, surface modification and functionalization, cooling and
lubrication, among many others.
CO2 can be compressed to a range of liquid-like densities, yet it will retain the diffusivity of a gas with extremely low viscosity. Practical benefits derived from the unique properties of compressed CO2 include rapid penetration and wetting, oil solubility and, cooling and drying lubrication effects.
CO2 CleanTech can be integrated into virtually any machine, equipment platform, and process to provide in-situ dry, clean surface treatment, process thermal control and cooling lubrication. This technology is something to look into for a better, leaner, greener business model.